Friday, November 6, 2009

Writing Quotes, Three For One

Two are writing specific and one is more attuned to screenwriting, but it still has some literary relevance, and is certainly amusing.

"There are some books that refuse to be written. They stand their ground year after year and will not be persuaded. It isn't because the book is not there and worth being written -- it is only because the right form of the story does not present itself. There is only one right form for a story and if you fail to find that form the story will not tell itself."
- Mark Twain

"In Hollywood, defining the content of a movie is like sex-- everyone thinks they can do it and do it well. And they're not inclined to give up the chance to do it just so someone else can do it."
- Terry Rossio

"Writing is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public."
- Winston Churchill

From two issues of The Creative Screenwriting Weekly Newsletter and no, don't fling your writing toward the at large public, or at anyone in private.


MRMacrum said...

I would guess that the public would tolerate having one's writing flung at them rather than one's monster beng thrust in their face. Oh wait a minute. Did I get Quote two mixed up with Quote three? Oops.

I like Twain's quote. But then I pretty much like almost anything he came up with.

Randal Graves said...

Don't fling my writing? What's the worst that can happen, a paper cut? C'mon.

Doc said...

Like monkeys at the zoo, I've been flinging my crap for years. The only trouble is that the public ducks better than you think.


Cormac Brown said...


Yes, Samuel Clemens is one of America's greatest treasures.


Well, like a bad seller on eBay, they won't want to have anything else to do with you, so there's that.


In that case? Go for the pump-fake and nail them when they come back up.

Freida Bee, MD said...

Good Gawd, I want to fling my crappy writing at Randa, now.

I love the Twain quote. It makes me worried and reassures me, both at the same time.

Beach Bum said...

I'm strangely uncomfortable with all this talk about flinging my writing.

Years ago I was in the jungles of Honduras on a TDY that I volunteered for and during a rest stop on a long, hot convoy we were assaulted by a group of Howler monkeys flinging their poo and peeing on us poor fools.

Cormac Brown said...


Have Doc do it, he's closer and I'll pay for UPS...kidding. Look, I finally spelled your name right!

"I love the Twain quote. It makes me worried and reassures me, both at the same time."

It's one of his greater ones and it reaffirms that there is story in each of us that needs to be told, if only we are capable.


I am no fan of monkeys that are in large groups and in their element...or politicians, for that matter. To paraphrase Upton Sinclair, "There will be poo."

Gifted Typist said...

Ach. churchill's quote, makes me laugh and cry all at the same time

Cormac Brown said...


Even though he was one of the greatest orators, ever, in a way I'm surprised that Winston had such a grasp on the difficulties of writing.